Assiniboine River will be breached

Manitoba hopes to stem rising waters in a risky operation on Thursday morning

Manitoba will continue with a high-stakes breach of the Assiniboine River at 8 a.m. on Thursday in an effort to prevent massive flooding in the area, unless conditions require more immediate action. Provincial spokesman Rachel Morgan told The Globe and Mail that residents are still being notified about the need to evacuate the area of Hoop and Holler Bend, 90 km west of Winnipeg. The province hopes to achieve a “controlled breach” by cutting a notch in the dike and filling it with a rocky substance that should stem the water flow. “We want to minimize the amount of water that goes out of the controlled breach,” said Morgan. “Above 4,000 [cubic feet per second] is going to be a challenge.” Engineers chose the location based on the hope that water would head towards the LaSalle river. In the worst flooding Manitoba has seen since the 1820s, more than 2,700 people have been evacuated. 700 troops are aiding with relief efforts, which have so far exceeded a cost of $70 million, after the province requested military assistance on Sunday. Prime Minister Harper visited Manitoba on Wednesday and was briefed on the situation by Premier Greg Selinger.

The Globe and Mail

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